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RangerTrace

3gun rifle ammo selection 200+ yards

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So, I've been trying a couple different brands of 75 grain rifle ammo to zero my LANTAC with and use for the long range 3gun stages.  I initially used American Eagle 75 grain FMJ and zeroed at 100 yards in an indoor range.  I had purchased some Hornady 75 grain Steel Training ammo but was told by some experienced 3gunners that the Training ammo and the American Eagle were junk.

 

I bought a case of Hornady 75 grain Steel "Match" this week to try and I shot some at 100 and 200 yards yesterday after my match.  The results were surprising.  I couldn't shoot a group at 200 and had to move to 100.  At 100, the Steel Match was all over the place.  The American Eagle was grouping at about 1" and the Steel Training ammo was sub MOA, though slightly off the target.

 

The holes around the round target are the Steel Match rounds.  The hits in the middle are the American Eagle as are the hits on the square target.  The tiny little group just off the target were the Steel training rounds.  I pulled one of the Match and Training rounds to see what could cause such a difference.  They both weighed 75 grains and had 22.1 grains of the same powder or at least it looked the same to me.  The only obvious difference to me was the training ammo had the groves on the bullet.

 

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As a former long range shooter I can say from my experience all things being equal; Bullets with a cannelure typically are not as accurate as Bullets without. (However I noticed on the non-cannelure bullet it looks like it has a groove from crimping albeit light.) Also, does the training ammo have a brass case as oppose to steel? When it comes to long range shooting for accuracy your case can and will most likely affect your accuracy as well.

A good example of how your case effects accuracy. I have a .308 I used for F class shooting. When working on my loads I used 2 different brands of brass. Lapau and Federal. When shooting the same bullet,powder,primer combination Lapau brass consistently out performed Federal brass. The difference was significant.

Based on your information I would say the bullet and casing are biggest drivers behind the difference in accuracy.


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Both use a steel case as well.  And you are correct, there is a slight groove from where they crimped it.  I had a heck of a time getting them out of the case with my inertia bullet puller.

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If both cases are steel than it’s the cannelure making the difference.


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47 minutes ago, RAP said:

If both cases are steel than it’s the cannelure making the difference.


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Which in this case, helped the accuracy greatly.  From a 6" group to sub MOA.

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I would suspect that the bullet without the cannelure was slightly resized when the bullet was crimped...causing your loss of accuracy. I did an experiment once where I made some 357 with a cannelure bullet and some without. The 357 without a cannelure would bulge the case when run through the same crimping setup as the one with the cannelure. Both bullets were 158 grain jacketed. So, I would think that the act of crimping a bullet without a cannelure in a setup meant for crimping with a cannelure, the bullet gets undersized in the process.

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Try some 77 gr SMK. My 1st JP CTR-02 does not like Hornady 75s, but will shoot Fiochhi 77SMKs really good (5 shots completely under a dime at 100). I bought several different factory loads and went to the range. I set up a large piece of cardboard with ten plasters on it, fired 15 rounds of ball to warm up my barrel and then shot five shot groups with each factory load, chronoing as I shot groups. The Fiochhi performed the best out of my rifle, so I bought a lot of it and use it for long range targets

Hurley

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18 minutes ago, HRider said:

Try some 77 gr SMK. My 1st JP CTR-02 does not like Hornady 75s, but will shoot Fiochhi 77SMKs really good (5 shots completely under a dime at 100). I bought several different factory loads and went to the range. I set up a large piece of cardboard with ten plasters on it, fired 15 rounds of ball to warm up my barrel and then shot five shot groups with each factory load, chronoing as I shot groups. The Fiochhi performed the best out of my rifle, so I bought a lot of it and use it for long range targets

Hurley

I've not seen those, what are they going for per round........

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Usually around $ 0.75 per round, I have caught it on sale for $ 0.60 per round. I have bought it from Ammo to go and Freedom Munitions. A quick check didn't show any in stock at either place, but Ammoseek is showing several places listing it at $ 0.75 per round.

Hurley

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Parker Arms was a small commercial reloader.  He was heavy into rifle accuracy.  When he dedicated a 1050 for my 40 S&W, he did not like my FCD.  He showed me article after article on rifle accuracy degraded by the crimp.  His 223 stuff did not have a crimp and was MOA accurate.  

 

Not sure it that adds or subtracts value to the discussion.

 

Hornady Steel Match works well out of my JP CTR.  So does Black Hills stuff.  $$$$$$$ for my tastes.

 

He changed his mind on my FCD for my pistol.

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20 minutes ago, pjb45 said:

Parker Arms was a small commercial reloader.  He was heavy into rifle accuracy.  When he dedicated a 1050 for my 40 S&W, he did not like my FCD.  He showed me article after article on rifle accuracy degraded by the crimp.  His 223 stuff did not have a crimp and was MOA accurate.  

 

Not sure it that adds or subtracts value to the discussion.

 

Hornady Steel Match works well out of my JP CTR.  So does Black Hills stuff.  $$$$$$$ for my tastes.

 

He changed his mind on my FCD for my pistol.

Rifles have personalities, you have to find what each one of them likes. 

Hurley

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FC262 is also generally a great performer  and around the 60-75 ¢ range. Federal with a 77 grain SMK.

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I have been shooting the IMI 77gr SMK for awhile when I can catch them on sale from Midway @ around .67 per round. Very accurate, might be worth a try. They also sell the 69gr SMK, but my rifle doesn't like it as well. 

 

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/2090124928/imi-ammunition-556x45mm-77-grain-razor-core-sierra-matchking-hollow-point

 

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/721876/imi-ammunition-556x45mm-69-grain-razor-core-sierra-matchking-hollow-point-box-of-240-12-boxes-of-20

 

gerritm

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On 8/27/2018 at 6:16 PM, RangerTrace said:

I've not seen those, what are they going for per round........

Looks like it is back in stock at Freedom Munitions and on sale for $0.558 / round

 

Fiocchi 77's

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One man’s junk is another man’s treasure. I think your rifle likes the AE. Ammo groups differently in different barrels so Stick with the AE. You’ve solved your problem. The right ammo also means less shots that you will need to take therefore automatically saving money.


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1 hour ago, poortrader said:

One man’s junk is another man’s treasure. I think your rifle likes the AE. Ammo groups differently in different barrels so Stick with the AE. You’ve solved your problem. The right ammo also means less shots that you will need to take therefore automatically saving money.


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Maybe the wisest post I've read in weeks!!?

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BTW, I'm shooting 18" JP medium contour barrel out to 700 with the HSM.  Out to 500 yards, I shot my 16" Proof and 14.5 TTI with pretty good accuracy with the 75 gr HSM.

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It might be worth a try to pick up some Magtech 77gr SMK to test in your guns.  SG ammo has had it for around 60 cents a round or so.  It has proven to be very accurate in 3 different ARs that I have run it thru.  Of course YMMV

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Black Hills loaded with the 69gr or 77gr Tipped Matchking is pretty great for loaded ammo. The blue box version is a good value as well.

 

TMK allegedly has a slightly higher BC over the SMK. They're a little longer but still work great out of Pmags.

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Peak Performance Ammo has a 75gr Hornady load w a cannalure that is actually pretty amazing.  it is slow (2,560 MV form an 18") but is crazy accurate!  $400 per 1K.

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So, I picked up a couple boxes of the Magtech 77 grain SMK ammo and went to ETTS yesterday to get a 200 yard zero.  The best any of us could get with my 14.7 Raven/1x6 Razor was about 4".  Went back to my Federal American Eagle 75 grain ball and was slightly over 1 MOA at 200 yards with me doing the shooting.  I've NEVER been able to shoot an acceptable group at 200 yards.  So I think my barrel has spoken.....it likes 75 grain projectiles better than 77 grain.  

 

So, should I be satisfied with the AA, or look for a round with a 75 grain BTHP to try to squeeze out a little more accuracy?  

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Many a match has been won with a rifle/ammo combo that only is capable of 2 M.O.A. If your under that, and it is reliable, and the best part is that it is cheaper too, you win!!!

On a side note, I really can't figure out why anyone would say Federal A.E. is junk! For the last 5 years I have used the 55 grian A.E. ball ammo for most every match I have shot, and I am not unhappy with it's performance or consistency. Now I will tell you I some times us their 55 grain ballistic tip load for real long range stuff, like Rocky Mountain 3-Gun where it goes out to 600 or so, but I'm happy with the A.E. out to the 400 yard range. It is good stuff!

 

Edited by kurtm

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